Wine of the Weekend: Chardonnay

We love a good Chardonnay, crisp, juicy, fresh, inviting, America’s favorite white wine is also ours. Though every Chardonnay isn’t alike. Here are a few tasty selections to enjoy any night of the week, from affordable Tuesday night wines to something a little more special for date night. #Cheers

From the historic Olivet Lane Vineyard of Russian River’s Pelligrini Winery within Santa Rosa, Olivet Lane Unoaked Chardonnay ($40) showcases the beauty of place allowing the essence of the fruit to shine. Fresh and fragrant, opening with honeysuckle, apple blossom, and lemon zest, melding into orchard and stone fruit flavors of nectarine and apricot, ripe apple, and a touch of spicy candied ginger.

In 1973 Chamisal Vineyards were the first to plant vineyards in Central California’s Edna Valley. Believing the influence of the cooling Pacific Ocean would create nuanced wines that told the story of the land, Chamisal quickly became a leader in producing high quality wines as the region began to grow. Today, Chamisal continues to craft some of the finest selections from the region. From the calcareous, clay soils of their home estate, Chamisal Edna Valley Chardonnay ($35) reveals layes of baked apple tart, toasted spice, fresh cream, and lemon pie. Complex and textured, the rich wine is ideal with roasted chicken, salmon, or lemony shrimp pasta.

Filled with sunshine from sandy Santa Barabra soils, Nielson Chardonnay ($16) leaps from the glass with vibrancy and juicy lushious layers. Slightly tropical, opening with notes of pineapple and guava, melding seamlessly with honeysuckle and and fresh citrus, leading to a palate of ripe pear, creamy lemon custard, and blanched almond. Highly affordable, this easy going wine is perfect for any day of the week.

California has been a leader in producing ripe and juicy Chardonnay for generations, but the variety shines throughout the world, even in an area we typically think of for Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. From celebrated producer, Jules Taylor and the heart of the Marlborough region, Jules Taylor Chardonnay ($25) has a lovely soft herb earthiness melding with crushed stone, zesty lemon-lime, golden peach, and pear. Bright and fresh, melding with toasted almond, and a touch of caramel.

From vineyards dotted throughout California, influenced from the top to the bottom of the state by the cooling Pacific Ocean, Rodney Strong Chardonnay ($17) blends fruit fermented in stainless steel and oak barrel to create a wine with richness and a creamy profile and a fresh zestiness. The oak lends layers of vanilla cream, toasted spice, baked apple, and hazelnut, with crushed stone, lemon-lime, and a hint of mango. With a new label and packaging, the historic Sonoma property continues to shine with varietally correct selections celebrating California wine.